Saturday, November 16, 2019
For Koroit trainer Robert Walsh, Belfast Dot’s win in last Thursday’s Greyhound-Data.com Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting was his first at the local track in more than 12 months.
Having only her third start, Belfast Dot took full advantage of box one to quickly find the front and from there on the white and black bitch never looked like losing, eventually running out a five length winner over Burner Black in 23.89 seconds.
Walsh’s last winner at Tara Raceway had been Ima Caravan, a son of Cape Hawke and Jamaican Ruby, while last Thursday’s winner is a half-sister, this litter whelped in February 2018 and by Banjo Boy.
Jamaican Ruby, for much of her career had been trained by Walsh, the black bitch winning five races, including Geelong (596 m), Warrnambool (650 m) and The Meadows (600 m) before whelping two dogs and 10 bitches to Cape Hawke.
And this turned out to be a handy litter, I’m A Princess, in particular, winning more than $32,000 in stakemoney for Walsh after being successful on eight occasions over distances ranging from 485 metres to 660 metres.
Belfast Dot was bred at Ecklin South by Beryl Fulton, Walsh also the owner of litter brother My Mate Didgie, a Warrnambool winner at his first start in September after the training had been entrusted to Fulton’s son Peter.
As it turned out, My Mate Didgie was racing at Warrnambool last Thursday night, the big white and black dog ultimately running third over 450 metres.
But back at Tara Raceway, Walsh’s day wasn’t yet over, Saint Beth gaining a start as a reserve in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 m) and finishing the race off strongly to defeat Black Moscato by 4¼ lengths in 23.70 seconds and give her trainer his first double at the track.
By Worm Burner out of Strongbeth, Saint Beth is raced by Koroit owner Peter Byrne who has enjoyed considerable recent success at Tara Raceway with Saint David over the 600 metre journey.
Saint Beth boasts a fair sort of pedigree with Worm Burner winning 48 races and $380,000 in stakemoney while Strongbeth, herself a winner of eight races, is a litter sister to Zambora Brockie (31 wins for earnings of $541,000).
Walsh, who took over the June 2017 black bitch’s training when she was 16 months old, said her preparation had been hampered by seasonal issues which have seen her race on only 15 occasions.
Another trainer to enjoy a winning day was Tony Hinrichsen of Monarto South – Rusty Fury, Spring Leesa and Filthy Phantom giving him his third treble at Tara Raceway this season. Throw in four winners on March 20 and the Winter Classic with Balboa Fury in August and it’s been a pretty good year for the Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club president.
Rusty Fury, a beautifully bred daughter of Barcia Bale and Destini Firebird, hopped straight to the front from box seven in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m) but looked to be in some danger when Nitro Missile loomed large approaching the home turn.
However, the brindle bitch dug deep in the home straight, running a tidy 30.20 seconds when defeating Nitro Missile by 1¼ lengths and relegating him to his fourth successive minor placing.
And they don’t come much more durable than Hinrichsen’s other couple of winners.
Spring Leesa led all the way to defeat the well-backed Lady Pippa by 2¾ lengths in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) and Filthy Phantom worked home too strongly for early leader Blackpool Remi in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m), winning by four lengths in 23.50 seconds.
A rising five-year-old, Spring Leesa has now been around on 176 occasions for 21 wins while the 3½-year-old Filthy Phantom has raced 145 times for 17 wins.